IBM picks a basket of BlackBerries

GoAmerica, a mobile-software company, will provide Big Blue with GoAmerica-branded BlackBerry devices to sell to individual customers.

Richard Shim Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Richard Shim
writes about gadgets big and small.
Richard Shim
2 min read
Mobile-software company GoAmerica has extended a wireless-network agreement with IBM and will provide Big Blue with GoAmerica-branded BlackBerry devices to sell.

Hackensack, N.J.-based GoAmerica entered an agreement with IBM's Global Services division at the end of last year to develop and market wireless technology for businesses. The companies announced Wednesday that starting July 9, IBM's Personal Computing Division will sell GoAmerica-branded BlackBerry handhelds. Research in Motion manufactures the BlackBerry, which sends and receives e-mail messages.

Big Blue's Global Services unit already sells RIM-branded BlackBerries as part of its consulting contracts with large businesses. The deal involving the Personal Computing Division is aimed at selling the BlackBerry directly to individual customers. IBM customers will receive the device bundled with activation and one month of service. IBM representatives said that they would not reveal the pricing on an unreleased product.

GoAmerica resells wireless network access and devices as a means of getting its mobile software to customers. The company's software lets corporate workers securely access data, groupware applications and intranets; send and receive e-mail; and access the Internet from remote locations.

GoAmerica has partnerships with wireless carriers such as VoiceStream Wireless, Cingular Wireless, AT&T Wireless and Verizon Communications and device makers such as RIM and Novatel.

The announcement with IBM gives GoAmerica and RIM an additional channel to the enterprise market, which is their core market, according to IDC analyst Alex Slawsby.

"GoAmerica is leveraging the brand strength and enterprise relationships of their partners to remain competitive with wireless network carriers and other global solutions providers," Slawsby said. For its part, IBM will be able to tap GoAmerica's experience in developing wireless setups, Slawsby said.